What Is User Search Intent and Why Is It Important In SEO?

user search intent

When a user enters a search term into search engines, they are looking for a specific type of answer. For clear-cut long-tail keyword search terms, the intent is often apparent. Other times, it’s more subjective.

With a 92% share of the search engine market, Google tries to make sure each user finds what they are looking for by serving results from the most relevant pages.

This article will cover all you need to know about user search intent, why it’s essential, and how you can optimize your pages for it. Local businesses in the Tampa area can quickly optimize for search intent by taking advantage of the Tampa SEO services by Pure Digital Marketing.

What is User Search Intent?

Search intent is the reason for a search. Is the user looking to make a purchase with the search query? Are they looking for a simple answer to a question or seeking general information?

For example, the search term “simple noodle recipes” clearly shows users looking for new ways to make their noodles. The bulk of the results for this specific search will feature content from food-related websites with popular noodle recipes.

Why Does User Search Intent Matter in SEO?

Search intent matters in SEO because of the following reasons:

It’s an Important Ranking Factor

Satisfying search intent is essential for Google. If a user searches for a specific term and finds mismatched or irrelevant content in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), they’ll exit the websites (if they clicked through in seconds) or conduct another search.

If many users exit your website this way after arriving through the SERPs, you’ll lose your ranking for those keywords over time.

Conversely, you can improve your rankings significantly if you always match user intent. You’ll notice decreased bounce rates and higher click-through rates for your content. You can also signal to Google that you’re an authority in your niche if you match various user intents around a topic.

You Can Improve Your Cross-Funnel Reach

Creating specific content for various search intents increases the number of users you can reach. It also ensures you’re targeting users at the different customer journey stages. You can match the user intent of customers discovering your brand for the first time and those almost at the conversion stage.

What Are the Types of User Intent?

The different types of user intent include:

Informational Intent

Users with informational intent are looking for answers to often specific questions like:

●        “The cost of each Game of Thrones episode”

●        “Cristiano Ronaldo salary”

●        “Lebron James wife”

People using voice search will phrase their query as a question, while text users will enter keywords, as you’ve seen above. These website visitors may not lead to conversions, as they leave as soon as they’ve found the information.

However, thousands of satisfied users tells Google that your website is authoritative, trustworthy, and an expert on the subject matter. The result is positive rankings for your website.

Navigational Intent

Users with navigational intent are looking for assets on a specific product or brand’s website. It’s often easier to type “Grammarly Premium Price” in the search bar than to visit the Grammarly website and navigate to the pricing page.

Optimizing for navigational intent is tricky because a user searching for your competitors may not be interested in your offerings. However, a savvy pay-per-click management company can build campaigns around navigational intent.

Transactional Intent

Searchers with transactional intent are interested in buying something. In many cases, they’ve already decided to purchase and are just looking for the best deals. Such search terms often feature brand names they’ve researched.

A user searching for “New Balance Shoes” or “Honda SUV” likely has transactional intent.

Commercial Intent

A searcher with commercial intent is in the market for a specific service or product but is still mulling over the options. So, a searcher in this category is likely to search for “best running shoes,” “best automatic vacuum cleaners,” etc.

They are often looking for comparisons or reviews. Some commercial intent users may enter location-specific search terms like “best restaurants in Tampa.”

Optimizing for User Search Intent

Optimizing for user search intent has many SEO benefits, which include lower bounce rates, higher conversion rates, wider audience reach, and landing a Featured Snippet position. What’s the best way to achieve this?

Figure Out Your Target Audience

Who are your website visitors? Do they come for information or to make a purchase? Understanding your audience is key to determining the various user search intents to target.

With your target user intent squared off, you should go over the keywords you’re currently targeting to ensure they are in sync. You may need to repeat your keyword research to ensure you’re targeting the best keywords for your website.

Pay attention to long-tail keywords as they often contain search intent signals.

Analyze Your Competition

Check the top-performing pages in the SERPs for the user search intents and keywords you’re targeting. Can you find any common grounds between them in structure or tone? Have they optimized for certain keywords? Use the information gleaned to build your content strategy.

Create Your Content

The crux of the user search intent is to create content that directly addresses the query with little fluff. For example, a user searching for “how to make a room cooler” won’t want to skip through paragraphs about global warming and the origins of HVAC units to find the information they need.

Similarly, users with transactional user search intent will prefer product descriptions instead of generic content about the brand.

Get Professional Guidance on User Search Intent

Pure Digital Marketing can help you make sense of your audience profiles. Call 813-536-3878 to learn more about our content marketing services.